Enormous thanks to Kelly Dumont (The Educational Mac) for pointing me in the direction of The Savvy Technologist, a blog and podcast written and produced by Tim Wilson, in Minnesota. In his podcast, STP #8: A chat with the gang, Tim participates in a recorded discussion about Web 2.0 with Tim Lauer, and Will Richardson, moderated by Steve Burt of Clarity Innovations.
The discussion digressed a bit from the original Web 2.0 topics into the challenges of implementing these technologies in our classrooms. But any discussion of the new information environment that does not slip into defining the barriers, would be just too boring.
Below is a copy of the comment that I posted on Tim’s blog page. But before you read it, I would like to suggest that schools link to this podcast from their school web sites. This is a discussion that should be come part of the community dialog, not just among these A-List innovators.
The can listen to the podcast here!
A great podcast. The problem is that people like you and me are listening to this — people who already believe these things. As they say, “preaching to the choir”. This is important, because you have to teach the choir to sing. But I agree with Tim, that there needs to be a broader sense of what students and teachers should be doing in the classroom. It is this broader community who needs to be listening to this podcast. Wouldn’t it be great if schools made this podcast file available through their school web site here at the beginning of the year.
I think, also, that as a society, we need to come to a consensus on what a successful school and classroom look like. What do we see going on in them, and what are the measures of success? Test scores are important. I gave test when I was teaching, because they helped me to measure not only my students success, but mine as well. However, here is another deeper dimension to teaching and learning success, something that can’t really be quantified. It has to be seen. This is where I agree with Will, that it’s the students work, their accomplishments, that should be displayed, not just scores. I believe that parents want to know what, how, and why their children are being taught, not just how well.